Maldives-based Ensis has debuted a new value-added skipjack product intending to showcase the quality of the country’s pole-and-line caught tuna.
The new product, Skipjack Seared Tuna, features frozen pole-and-line caught, Marine Stewardship Council-certified tuna from the Maldives. The product, Ensis General Manager Hussain Afeef told SeafoodSource during the 2022 edition of Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona, Spain, showcases the quality of the country’s pole-and-line skipjack tuna and is 100 percent ready to eat once thawed.
The product also helps the country compete in the European market, where the company’s canned tuna is subject to tariffs that many competitors are not. In the U.K., for example, the company faces a 20 percent tariff compared to competitors facing far fewer barriers.
“There’s a high tariff and we are exporting canned tuna to Europe, so it is difficult to compete with origins that don’t have tariffs.” Afeef said.
The product, which can be used in the retail market, is an alternative to canned tuna with few competitors like it.
“When you say skipjack, everyone thinks, ‘Oh, canned tuna, processed, cooked,’” Afeef said. “We tasted this, and found that it is a really interesting product, and the most-important point is that I don’t see any skipjack tuna like this from any other company.”
Part of the reason Ensis can make the product is thanks to the high quality of the company’s tuna, Afeef said. Because it is caught pole-and-line, it is fresh and maintains a higher quality.
The current market for the product is retail, in mainly Europe, the U.S.A., and some Canadian companies have already expressed interest in the product, Afeef said.
“We wanted to show the world that skipjack tuna is not only meant for canned,” he said.
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